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3OH!3 - Koko, London - September 29th 2010 (Live Review)

Monday, 04 October 2010 Written by Matthew Williamson
3OH!3 - Koko, London - September 29th 2010 (Live Review)

Just down the road from the centre of Camden ‘Koko’ sits tall and proud, rocking an almost Moulin Rouge look.  The grade II listed building has played host to numerous bands including 30 Seconds to Mars, Madonna, Coldplay & Queens of the Stone Age.  In a couple of weeks the now infamous Example is also hosting a gig at the former Camden Palace.  Tonight however 3Oh!3 are the venues occupants.  Having shot to stardom through collaborations with Ke$ha & Katy Perry (and in their own with ‘Don’t Trust Me’) the duo easily pack out the 1,410 capacity venue.

As we descend the stairs towards the stage, the first thing that struck us was the nature of the crowd.  Tonight maybe a ‘15+’ gig, but many look to be right on the borderline.  Support act L’Amour La Morgue are at half capacity, Ian Watkins conspicuous by his absence.  Despite this Colin Francies takes to the stage dressed in leather jacket and slightly strange mask that hides his true identity. Right from the start the numerous remixes get the crowd jumping.  Francies bounds about the stage and the audience feed off his energy, the perfect warm-up.

Image3Oh!3 are much the same.  Their set starts with ‘Starstrukk’, recorded with Katy Perry.  Unfortunately the Californian superstar isn’t in attendance, probably off with Russell Brand somewhere, but they do a good job without her.  The crowd are already on top form, singing along to every word, which continues into ‘Punkbitch’.  The pair doesn’t look like your typical rockstars, but the mass of hands that create themselves into the trademark 3oh!3 logo shows just how big the band is.  Nathaniel Motte tells the crowd that it’s “such a great way to start a show,” and he’s right.

The band jump into ‘Touchin’ on My’ and it sounds a lot better than the recorded version. It’s almost ironic that how most of the electronic artists rely on synthesisers & samples on CD but when it comes to the live show there’s always a backing band just behind them that bring everything to life.  The band run through ‘Colorado Sunrise’ with help from the crowd before running through a bit of ‘School’s Out’ (yes, the Alice Cooper song).

One of the things that does hold the gig back is their necessity to talk a lot.  Sean Foreman takes one of the foam 3oh!3 hands from the crowds and puts it on his head, telling the crowd that “all I ever wanted was a small head.”

Next up is new single ‘Double Vision’, which Foreman describes as a summer anthem, he might be a bit late, but that’s alright because inside people are throwing themselves around, dancing, jumping you name it.  Another new one is ‘House Party’ which doesn’t have quite the same energy as ‘Double Vision’, but does cause what can only be described as mass air patting (although there probably is a better name for it).

With hindsight ‘I’m Not Your Boyfriend Baby’ is probably one of the best songs of the night. “Kill the lights.  These children learn from cigarette burns, fast cars, fast women, and cheap drinks.  It feels right, all these asphyxiated, self-medicated; take the white pill, you'll feel alright.”  Sings…  everyone. 

It seems strange to have ‘I Can’t Do It Alone’ and ‘I Can Do Anything’ back to back due to the titles sounding slightly contradictory, but that’s alright.  As the crowd join in with Foreman’s “back it up, back it up!”  on the first track, followed by, well, pretty much every word on ‘I Can Do Anything’.  It sounds like most of the crowd’s autobiography, or at least what they’d like it to be.

After another small cover of ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’, which leads to everybody trying to do the high part. With energy waning the band play ‘Déjà vu’  which isn’t outstanding but, like most songs, makes the crowd go mental , but the biggest cheer is reserved for ‘My First Kiss’, which featured party animal Ke$ha, but today it’s just the twosome and the crowd.  It provokes one of the biggest sing-a-longs of the evening before the band go off.

Not five minutes later they’re back on for the encore.  Nobody’s left.  It starts with fairly atmospheric keyboard from Motte before the band go into the only song from the first album ‘Don’t Dance’, which doesn’t quite match the reaction to the newer songs, probably the reason why the rest have been dropped.

Finally they finish with, you guessed it, ‘Don’t Trust Me’.  The whole place goes absolutely mental for the three and a half minutes that ensue.  Finally the band finish, but with the promise that they’ll be "back here as soon as possible.  The UK is one of our favourite places to tour.” 

Overall it was a good night out.  They’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you even remotely like them then I’d suggest getting down to see them.

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